I was standing by the lake one windy morning watching the waves crash up against some rocks and the ripple effect that followed. The wave hit one area and cascaded long the others closer to where I was standing. It was beautiful, full of energy and at the same time made me realize that this can be translated into how one negative thought tends to release a series of more negative ones. This seems to happen to ‘feed’ or confirm the first one. I have found that negative thoughts hate being alone ... they look for company.
In my own personal experience as well working professionally in the arena of personal growth and development, I all too often witness how this unfolds.
I am not a therapist or neuroscientist so cannot speak scientifically. Having said that I have enough evidence after 16 years of working in this area to be able to say the patterns are there.
It strikes me that our minds do not like to give up the negative thoughts. Our brain looks for further thoughts to confirm this 'truth'. The thought might be far from true now in your actual present-day reality, yet we treat it as absolute truth in our thinking. From what I witness these beliefs come from emotions, more often than not emotions from the past, even recent past (last job, last relationship). Our behaviour follows our thinking, so our behaviour will act upon what we think and therefore believe.
For example: If you believe you are not very good at something chances are you will act this way. Instead of taking the approach to learn how to, or improve, you shy away from it.
Of course, the very first step must be being aware of this thought pattern and the resulting behaviour. To make any changes it is vital to be aware of a pattern. If it turns out to be limiting belief that is holding you back this belief is best challenged and reframed. If is is there due to lack of clarity you know to get more clarity.
In order to stay calm and grounded it requires certain behaviours that feed being calm.
Each person will have their own requirements. What you as an individual need to feel calm will most likely differ from someone else’s needs. Each has their own interpretation of success as well as what feeling calm and grounded means to them.
Based on my own personal experience this also changes depending on our age.
I know when I was 30 my focus was very different to 40. At 30 I was focused on creating my family and being a wife and mother. At 50 I noticed that feeling fulfilled was my new goal and turning 60 was fabulous as I had completely grown into my skin by then and was more than happy to focus on my core values and needs. The 'older age' goal is answering the question ‘how do I want this chapter of my life to look and feel’… This one is still work in progress so watch this space.
Tips for what comes next
If you find yourself lost in a negative thinking pattern regarding an issue, observe any common denominators that kick the first thought off. What sets those wheels in motion? What happens next? Observe yourself, raise your awareness to your patterns.
Is it a recurring situation, a recurring interaction, an issue left unresolved, a lack of clarity?
It could be a number of things. Get to know yourself to find out what exactly it is.
It is worthwhile to observe what comes next. Which thoughts follow, how do you act, react, behave, or deal with it?
Always remember to be patient and kind with yourself during any process of growth or change.
by Suzie Doscher:
Coaching for Personal Development: Life Coaching and Executive Coach, Self-Help Author
Photo credit: Pexels and Shutterstock
by Suzie Doscher
Feel like you keep facing the same uphill struggle?
Sometimes you create your own problems with your thoughts and beliefs. It is these particular thoughts that hold you back, keep you stuck and consequently limit you. In my coaching practice, as well as my own personal experience, I have witnessed how a self-sabotage routine can be created with these thoughts and beliefs. If you find that you keep coming back to the same type of situation again and again, it is well worth exploring if, in fact, you are running a self-sabotage routine.
To break this self-sabotage cycle, you will need to first determine what this limiting thought or belief is. Once you have figured that out (by yourself, with the help of a friend/boss or qualified coach), consider the information below to help yourself make a lasting change.
The best approach is to replace whatever you are thinking is with a thought that is more positive. For example:
By Marina Khidekel, Head of Content Development at Thrive Global
We all have our own ways of getting our creative juices flowing. While some of us feel inspired after taking a walk in nature, others might get our biggest bursts of inspiration in the shower, or while sitting in total stillness.
We asked our Thrive community to share the specific rituals that spark creativity and inspire their best ideas. Which of these will you try the next time you need a creative boost?
Establish a creative morning ritual
“I start most days with a small creative ritual. Before the rest of the house wakes up, I drink my coffee, grab my art supplies and journal, and proceed to paint, collage, write, and just create something each day. For me, the key is keeping the ritual tied to a well-established habit – my morning drink — and keeping my supplies organized and visible near my kitchen table. I find that on days I take this time, I’m much happier and less stressed.”
—Jill Elliott, founder of The Color Kind, Dallas, TX
'Balance - A Practical Handbook and Workbook for Life's Difficult Moments'
by Suzie Doscher is about change and learning the necessary everyday skills required for life = life skills.
The exercises help you improve the quality of your life, supports you in difficult moments and handle life’s challenging every-day situations better.
It is a practical hands-on self coaching tool.
Read or listen to it when you feel vulnerable, unsure of yourself, or ineffective in difficult and stressful moments.
Learn how to handle your stress effectively with the help of the insights in the book. Bear in mind that there is no balance where there is stress – stress contradicts calmness and happiness. Choose which one you wish to have more of..it is up to you.
The goal of this book is to help you create new opportunities, learn new behaviors, and become the best version of yourself. It is all about practical action oriented insights, steps and behavior change.
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Raise your self-awareness with this: